The qualifying offer for free agents this winter reportedly has risen from $15.3 to $15.8 million, which is the amount that the Orioles will dangle in front of first baseman Chris Davis and left-hander Wei-Yin Chen. They haven’t decided what to do about catcher Matt Wieters.
No player has accepted the qualifying offer, which sets his salary for the upcoming season. Teams receive a compensation pick in the next draft if the player signs with another team.
A qualifying offer can’t be made to a player obtained via trade during the season. Outfielder Gerardo Parra is one example. The Cubs couldn’t do it with reliever Tommy Hunter.
You get the idea.
Yes, the Orioles are watching the playoffs at home. Yes, they had to settle for a .500 record. Yes, it’s a far cry from 2014 and enough to make many of their fans burst into tears.
But did you know that the Orioles lead the American League and rank fifth in the majors with a 355-293 record since the start of the 2012 season? That’s a noteworthy achievement considering the 14 consecutive losing seasons that preceded it.
The Orioles’ 854 home runs in that same span lead the majors and are 62 more than the runner-up Blue Jays. They ranked third this season with 217, five more than the Yankees. Power hasn’t been the problem.
The Orioles’ .307 on-base percentage ranked 24th in the majors and dropped from .311 in 2014. The rotation posted a 4.53 ERA that ranked 25th in the majors and rose from 3.61 in 2014. Improvements need to come in both areas.
Buck Showalter (1,340) needs 13 more wins to pass Chuck Tanner for 30th place on the all-time managerial list. Davey Johnson is 29th with 1,372 victories.
It would be a good sign for the Orioles if Showalter passed Tanner in April.
They need to play better on the road, where they compiled a 34-50 record this season. They also need to improve their 12-60 record when scoring fewer than four runs.
The Orioles also were:
* 25-26 in one-run games.
* 13-19 in two-run games.
* 63-4 when leading after the seventh inning.
* 13-7 when tied after the seventh inning.
* 4-70 when trailing after the seventh inning.
* 69-2 when leading after the eighth inning.
* 11-7 when tied after the eighth inning.
* 1-71 when trailing after the eighth inning.
* 59-27 when they scored first.
* 22-54 when their opponent scored first.
* 60-13 when outhitting their opponent.
* 14-62 when outhit by their opponent.
* 39-37 against the American League East.
* 15-18 against the AL Central.
* 15-18 vs. the AL West.
* 12-8 vs. the National League.
The Orioles defense slipped over the final week of the season, but they still led the American League in fewest errors with 77. However, they were tied for second in the majors after spending most of the season on top.
The Orioles also led the AL and ranked third in the majors with a .987 fielding percentage.
The Orioles led the majors with 48 outfield assists. Adam Jones ranked first on the team and tied for sixth in the majors with 13.
Since 2012, the Orioles bullpen has earned the most saves (208), registered the third-lowest ERA (3.20) and logged the third-most innings (2,086) in the majors. Orioles relievers ranked third in the AL and fifth in the majors this season with a 3.21 ERA in 519 innings.